Greetings in the precious, unconditional love of our Lord Jesus, Who came to earth to set us an example, to die on a cross to shed His blood for the remission of our sins, and to rise again the third day, victorious over sin and death. Through all that JESUS has done for us, He has given to us a blessed hope.
This is one of our favorite times of the year, when we have another opportunity to bask in the love of JESUS and to share His love with others. God has blessed us, in spite of us, and we thank Him for those He has brought into our lives through the years. We thank Him for family and friends who have stood by us in the good times and the bad. Our desire is to finish well for His glory and His precious Name!
WOW!! the Covid-19 pandemic has had the world in lockdown most of the year. It sure has been a different kind of year, virtual meetings, wearing masks, social distancing and more. Also, this year has been a political roller coaster. We have to believe that God is in control. So, bear with us as we share a bit of our life for 2020. His mercy, grace and love grow sweeter as the days go by.
Gary: This year, traveling has been restricted because of the pandemic. On February 26th, K. Vijayanandam from India, arrived at the IGM Headquarters for his tour of churches, March 1—April 5. I took him to 6 churches, and Michael Grubbs, our Communications Coordinator, took him to 2 churches. The remaining 9 churches had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 lockdown. Then Wesley Chatla, from India arrived at IGM Headquarters to go to a couple scheduled meetings that were cancelled, He stayed until May 1st and traveled to Iowa to see his son who was attending Faith Baptist Bible College, Ankeny, Iowa. So K. Vijay was in lockdown with us. He daily was in contact with his wife, his 6 yr. old son, his 3 yr. old daughter, and his church family. He was a great help in the office, doing lots of folding, stuffing, and stamping for Nancy, Cheryl, and Holly and helping me with computer situations and repairs at IGM. He finally left for India on June 18, arriving home, after several days of quarantine in a hotel. On June 2nd, Nancy and I celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary. July 11-18, Holly Baltich, our Finance Manager’s, trip was cancelled because the Covid-19 lockdown in Grenada and the airlines. Because of the pandemic, we had to cancel our Mission Training Conference. Since Michael had booked 2 team meetings, we had Alex Boamah, Ghana, and Fritz Voltaire, Haiti, who were both in lockdown in the USA fill the scheduled meetings. I transported Alex to 9 meetings, Michael transported Alex to 5 meetings, and Holly and her mom transported Alex to 3 meetings. Fritz Voltaire arrived at IGM on September 2nd and was transported to Sharpsville, PA where Al & Mary Irwin, our FMI (orphan ministries) Field Representatives, transported him to 12 meetings. He arrived back at IGM October 11th and flew back to New Jersey on October 12th. I kept busy with many phone calls, wrote letters, and emails, and counseled many. I prepared our Council Meetings in April, June, and August. Each meeting was conducted by ZOOM. Also, I am preparing for our Council’s Annual Business meeting on December 8th, which will be virtual and at the Headquarters. I supplied the pulpit two times during the year at the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Geneseo, NY. I am doing fairly well for my age, battling neuropathy (feet & hands), atrial fib, and pre-diabetes. I’m okay as long as I stay on my medications. Nancy and I praise the Lord for His wisdom, strength and encouragement for the awesome responsibilities of serving the Lord through IGM. As I have said before, IGM is a faith-based mission agency. We have to raise our support just like all our missionaries and national pastors. We still need more support because of attrition, but each month, the Lord provides some unexpected gifts. We still need travel funds. We praise the Lord that He continues to take care of our needs. Thank you for praying and/or financially giving to our needs. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy: Continues to work many hours as the volunteer IGM Office Manager. Being Office Manager entails many different tasks: helping with ordering and purchasing supplies, the preparation for MTC and for visiting pastors going to churches, recording of financial reports and prayer letters, answering and sending many emails, different publications, helping clean the bunkhouse rooms, helping in purchasing groceries for the National pastors staying at IGM, and many other things. Faith and Steve and family with 2 friends visited us July 1-We had family time, July 4, at our home with 13 of us. (Our oldest grandson, Steven, was unable to be with us because of working that day and Jennifer, our daughter-in-law, could not be with us as she was completing college coursework for her degree in counseling.) Many have asked about her hand and wrist she broke in the February 25, 2016 car accident and then December 26, 2017, she fractured a bone on her right ring finger knuckle. Praise the Lord, she can use her hand and can type okay, however, it is still stiff and has some numbness, probably because of arthritis, etc. We had a great time spending Thanksgiving dinner at Luke, Jennifer, and Aubrey’s home.
Since COVID-19 is on the rise and we need to be careful, we are not sure if we can spend Christmas with Faith, Steve, and grandchildren in Forest, Virginia. Nancy’s health is pretty good. She is still taking thyroid and blood pressure medicines. Nancy and I go to the chiropractor every 2 to 3 weeks, which helps our back problems. Also, if she stays on her eating plan, that helps her health. Pray for Nancy as she serves her Savior daily. Her email is email@example.com
Luke and Jennifer will celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary on February 9th, 2021. They continue to love the Lord and worship Him with their lives. They moved during the summer to be closer to church and Aubrey’s school. Also, they are closer to us, which means we get to visit them more often. Luke celebrated his sixth year working at Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES in Newark. In the new year, Jennifer will begin her intern work in local schools to complete her Master of Education in School Counseling. She is also a substitute teacher at the school Aubrey attends. Aubrey started sixth grade in September and celebrated her 12th birthday on November 3rd. Do pray for them as they seek God’s will and as they raise Aubrey for His glory.
Our daughter, Faith, and her husband, Steve, will be married 27 years this coming July. Faith continues to teach but had a change this year. She moved from 4th grade at Forest Elementary School to kindergarten. In addition to the grade change, there were COVID-19 protocols put in place that changed the way class was conducted. However, she loves her job, and the kids are a blessing to her each day. Steve continues his work at Houston Baptist University as the Vice-President for Online Learning. The Lord is blessing the university’s efforts, and the program continues to grow. Their family is a blessing to us and we are thrilled to see how the Lord blesses their lives. Our oldest grandchild, Steven, is working at Ivy Hill Golf Club as the assistant clubhouse manager. He enjoys his job and still loves to play golf. He is still working on completing his MBA at Houston Baptist University, as well. Zachary graduated from Liberty University this year and is employed at his alma mater as a computer programmer. He loves his position, and his colleagues are great. We were sad that graduation was canceled but understood the safety protocols. In May, Megan also graduated from Liberty University and is now employed as a graphic designer at Five Points Creative. However, graduation was not her most important news of the year. Our oldest granddaughter is engaged to be married to her fiancé, Dillan McCauley, in June 2021. We are so thrilled for them and pray for the Lord’s blessing on their marriage. Jonathan is a freshman in college but is studying online at Houston Baptist University due to COVID cancelling the golf season at Eastern Mennonite University. He enjoys his classes but hopes to return to EMU next fall and resume in-person classes and play golf. Mia is now a freshman in high school. She is growing into a wonderful young lady. She enjoys school as they are doing most virtually but does attend a couple of days a week in person. Her big news this year was her new dog, Toby. He is still a puppy, and she is training him to do tricks.
M i n i s t r y N e w s:
February 2021 will be our 21st anniversary serving with International Gospel Missions. Praise the Lord for Holly Baltich, a single lady, who started serving IGM December 2018 as Finance Manager. Holly is a Godsend to IGM, with her positive and joyful outlook, and has learned quickly all that is entailed in serving as Finance Manager. She also puts together display boards, helps with ordering and purchasing needed supplies, helps care for the bunkhouse beds, laundry, cleaning, etc. She loves to cook and has fed the national pastors and visitors that stay in the bunkhouse apartment or just visit IGM. She has had Nancy and I for dinner several times. Also, we praise the Lord over and over for Cheryl Smith, who serves as Administrative Assistant, which includes many “hats” such as receptionist, donor services, publications editor, editing and sending out prayer letters, IT helper, and more. Because of situations, Jim Arnold is the Acting FMI director (Faith Ministries International—orphan ministry) and Cheryl is FMI Administrative Assistant. She does anything she is asked to do. Michael Grubbs continues to serve as Communications Coordinator, booking meetings for Mission Training Conference teams and others needing meetings, which is very time-consuming. Many churches do not have Sunday evening services or Wednesday services anymore and this, combined with the COVID lockdowns, have made booking meetings difficult. We have Holly’s cat, Percy, and dog, Winston, as our security and welcoming committee. We continue to praise the Lord for our IGM Mission Central Headquarters. It will be 15 years in July that we moved into our building. This year, we were able to house several national pastors and visitors. So far, we have hosted 31 or more people. We have added two to our IGM family of National Church Planters and Missionaries, one serving in Kenya and one serving in India. We now have National Field Representatives serving in many countries, trying to cut down on wire transfer costs and mailing costs. Presently, we have Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, Haiti, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Philippines, Togo, and Uganda set up with National Field Representatives. Grenada still has US representatives, the Psinases, the Arnolds for the Ivory Coast, and Kouami Midekor, Togo, is Director of West Africa French-Speaking Countries. We had four IGMers promoted to glory this year, Mrs. Hazel Webster, Jamaica, Mrs. Raja Kum, wife of P.S. Kumar, India, Pastor Prakash Kumar, India, and Pastor Milius Belizaire, Haiti. Our IGMers around the world have reported, so far this year, 3718 professions of faith and 673 baptisms.
If you are receiving a paper copy of our prayer letters, etc. and have an email address, please let us know as soon as possible to help save on our mailing costs. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. We continue to use email to communicate with our Mission Family to save on postage and to keep up-to-date with communications. Thank you for faithfully praying and/or financially supporting us, our missionaries, national church planters, orphans, and the Mission Service Account. Please visit our website—www.igmgo.org. We are also on Facebook and Twitter. Cheryl sends out our IGMers’ prayer letters as they are received. Presently, the MSA (Mission Service Account—operating fund) is in need of funds. The Lord knows and will take care of us. We are seeking replacements for Nancy and I because of our aging. Do pray and any suggestions would be welcomed. The Lord is good all of the time, all of the time the Lord is good.
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NOTE: IGM OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED
DECEMBER 24, 2020—JANUARY 1, 2021